Joel Lund

Christian Books & Bibles, Children's Books

Author Profile

Joel  Lund

Award-winning author JOEL LUND grew up in the Seattle area, where he frequently crashed his bicycle flying over jumps he built with friends. In between his sophomore and junior year of college, he traveled around the country in a band. Later, he earned his Master's degree from Regent College, in Vancouver BC, and worked 15 years (8 full-time, 7 part-time) in youth ministry. His second career was in the financial services industry. For his first book, "The Ultimate Survival Guide For Youth Ministers" he was awarded a "Top 10 Idaho Author." His second book, "Watson's Way; Life Lessons We Earned From Our Brilliant Dog," won a "Top 3 Idaho Book" award, and North American Book Award. He also writes young adult fantasy fiction ["The Gargoyle Chronicles" series], under his pen name, Brandon King. He is a galleried artist, musician and person to too many pets. He has spoken to more than 100,000. With his wife, he is the co-founder and CEO of Prepare For Rain, a business dedicated to helping others transform their lives to become who they know they can be: fulfilled, whole and making a difference. Find out more at: http://www.prepareforrainpress.com/

Books

Watson's Way

Children's Books

Who wouldn't love to learn from this gentle teacher? Kids spend a lot of time wondering about how to be a good friend, how to communicate effectively, and what it means to be successful in life. Truth is, even a lot of adults wonder these things. What if you could learn all this from a dog? Well, you can. Discover why the world's canine guru has so many fans around the world.

Book Bubbles from Watson's Way

A Canine Denathor?

What if your dog played an epic, deeply flawed human character from an iconic movie series based on an iconic book series? Well, you'd have a front row seat to one of the funniest sight-gags, ever. I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Watson's Way. Grab a copy for a dog lover in your life. #dogs #lotr #whatif #insanelyfunny #reading #familyfun #quiveringnose

The Hard Work of Love

As we drove home from the vet, after saying our far-too-young goodbyes to Watson, our beloved friend, I encouraged my daughter to write a list of things she wanted to remember about him. A few days later, she handed me a list of more than 150 memories, written in her pre-teen script. My part was then to take her list and turn each memory into a short chapter. Grieving the loss of a pet is hard work. Writing about it is also hard. But because we found few resources, we wrote Watson's Way hoping that others will find comfort in his lessons. Eventually, we intend to turn Watson's Way into a 5-book series. Yes, he had that much to teach us in the few short years we shared together. If you enjoy this excerpt, please consider getting a copy for someone grieving the loss of their fur baby. #dogs #love #sharingiscaring #furbabies

Summertime Energized!

Do you, like me, feel more energized on summer mornings? Great! Our dog, Watson, has a lesson to share with you. I hope you consider getting a copy of Watson's Way for yourself or a friend. #summer #dogs #hyper #priorities #thechase #barkingjoy #weekendreadermarathon

Give Peace a Chance

This excerpt from Watson's Way gives us a lesson in why humans might do better to approach conflict more like a dog does. Even though we may not always be successful in our efforts to bring peace, we should be like Watson. Risk the effort every time. I hope you enjoy this book bubble and consider getting a copy of Watson's Way. #peace #dogs #doglogic #givepeaceachance #risktheeffort #weekendreader #belikewatson

Nervously Bold...Or Boldly Nervous?

Here's a bold claim: all people should be "dog people." I suppose an exception could be made for someone who is literally allergic to all canines. Maybe that's a thing. i don't know. What I do know is that being around dogs helps (most) humans become better humans. We become more compassionate. More aware. More in tune with the world around us. We get out more. And, most importantly, dog people laugh a lot. Because dogs are, when left to their own devices, hilarious. Case in point: Watson and the front door. My, oh my, what a thing to behold! Grab your own copy of "Watson's Way" to learn more. PS: I was badly bitten by a dog when I was 5 years old, and I still hold to my bold claim. #dogs #humans #learning #laughing

The Wonder of Canine Kisses

Maybe it's just us. But we hope not. Please now it's not like we wish this one you, but do you have a friend or relative that behaves with cringeworthy boundaries? Which is a nice way of saying they don't have any. I'll never forget the moment an uncle-in-law, who I'd never met, came straight up to me and kissed me on the lips. Yikes. Well, dogs have no sense of boundaries. Or propriety, for that matter. But in the case of dogs, it's all good. Because they're not invading your space like humans do. They're inviting you into theirs, as a full member of the pack. I hope you enjoy this excerpt! Please consider getting a copy of Watson's Way for yourself or a friend. #dogs #nosekisses #canineaffection #love

Hard Choices

Some people argue that by writing a book like this, I'm "humanizing" Watson. The people that think this way consistently haven't cared for a dog of their own. What they miss includes how often people act like dogs. An example of this has to do with not making eye contact. You'll see what I mean in this book bubble. I hope you enjoy this book bubble! #dogs #foreverhome #adoptafriend #weekendreader #daretomakeeyecontact

Communing With Opponents

While you might think you know something about how the world works, especially how it works between those with opposing worldviews, once you invite 4-legged creatures into your living space, well, your world changes. And so does your viewpoint. We've learned a lot about how to roll with life from our dogs and cats. #community #dogsandcats #worldview #letsjustallgetalong

Comeback Dog

Everyone loves a great comeback story. Well, with a dog, "comeback" can serve as a well-used command. In Watson's case, he didn't need us to use the command, because it was already coded into his DNA. I hope you enjoy this book bubble! Please share. #dogs #comeback #hilarityonfourlegs

Dogs Make Promises, Too

If you're not a dog person yet, consider that dogs keep their promises, while humans sometimes don't. While writing "Watson's Way," my promise to future not-a-dog-person-yet readers was to give them a window into the world of a dog. That's true even with this blurb from "Watson's Pee-Mail." Enjoy! #dogs #promises #faithful #companion #writing

The Music of Love

As we approach Valentine's Day, the holiday with perhaps more music written for it than any other holiday, think about how music influences you. What kind of music do you love the most? Why is that? Who do you like to share it with? There's an old bumper sticker that declared, "Live music is the best!" Watson would agree with that. #music #dogs #love #valentines

For Parents of Grade-Schoolers

When I wrote Watson's Way, I saw it as devotional book, particularly suited to parents with grade-school kids. With the pace of life getting in the way of spending time with our kids, having stories to read and share together is a gift. That's what Watson's Way can be for you. Whether your kids are tucked into bed or sitting in your lap doesn't matter. What does matter is reading a short story about Watson's funny habits and then talking through the journaling questions at the end of each chapter. As a parent, you'll learn a lot about your kid's thoughts, fears and dreams. And your kids will fall in love with a gentle teacher. #dogs #love #quiettimewiththekids

Dogs Humanize People

There's a long Greek word used to describe humans who "humanize" animals. I think people who like to aim that Greek word at other people, like it's a bad thing, simply don't understand animals (or people, for that matter). They especially don't understand dogs. They've never had a dog. They've missed out on all that can be learned from a dog. They've not been loved by a dog. And that is a terrible loss, indeed. From our broken hearts at the sudden loss of our beloved Watson, we wrote this book to show just how much a dog can humanize its persons. And it is a beautiful thing, indeed.

Musical Dogs? What?

It's only when your dog lives with you--not in a kennel outside, but in your home--that you really get to know their personality. And trust me, every dog has a distinct personality. In the case of Watson, he was the consummate music lover. All the tuneful sounds we provided seemed to bring him auditory delight, from head-banging to classical. Still, it was obvious he had a favorite genre: live guitar music. Could he know that was our favorite genre, too?

Storm on the Horizon

Have you seen those memes on Facebook asking if you like the sound of thunder in the distance? Maybe you, like me, take delight in distant storms but not so much when they're directly overhead. In my experience, dogs are not fans of thunder, no matter how far away. But sometimes, a storm warning for a dog comes when another dog appears on their horizon. It sure did for Watson. His response to such impending threats was priceless.

Game of Denathor

Dogs are like mirrors...furry, wet-nosed mirrors. One of the most amazing things about dogs is that they make us more human by helping us see ourselves differently. "Dog people" tend to see the world with more whimsy and humor. Because that's how dogs see the world.

Space Bubbles Are Overrated

The human need for personal space is real, of course. But demands for personal space have real limits. There are more than 7 billion people on earth, after all. On the other hand, dogs have no need for personal space. They also could care less about our desire for personal space. Because, well, our space IS their space. #inyourface #bigwethello #dogsteachusabetterway

Dogphobic Person Adopts Dog Anyway

Although I have the scar to prove I was bitten by a dog at the age of 5, I grew up with dogs. My wife did not. Her parents did not. So for her, dogs were viewed as kind of like lightly domesticated ravenous wolves, emotionally speaking. That's why it was a BIG SURPRISE when she decided the right dog for us weighed about the same as our young daughter. What a brilliant risk to take! Watson dissolved all those years of fear and filled our family with laughter, joy and love. Because that's what dogs really, really, really want to do. And Watson did.

Hypersonic Cats Vs. Peacenik

Cat lovers know that their feline housemates don't require much. Generally, they love to be left alone for great swaths of time, with the understanding they should only be "bothered" for food. That is unless there is friction amongst their ranks. Hissing. Chasing. Chaos. Then they need a referee. And the best referee in a cat fight isn't a human. It's a dog.

The Struggle Is Real!

You know how hard it is to get excited about exercise? You ever reach over, hit the snooze button, and then regret it later? Yes, the struggle is real. That's one of many reasons dogs are called our best friends. Their enthusiasm for exercise (what humans call "play") is contagious, if not downright comical. When I wrote Watson's Way, I wanted to share real moments of our life with this really amazing dog. Lots of those stories are about "play." See what you think, and please consider reading Watson's Way. #dogsrock #turnstruggletoplay

The Politics of Naps?

Lots of famous political leaders routinely took naps, including Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Napoleon. But I bet they never had to navigate the dangerous, political minefield of where they took a nap. Or worry about who might horn in right beside them. :-)

Dogs Make Humans Better

Recently, we heard someway say that dogs don't live as long as us. Inwardly, we wondered why they would want to state something so obvious. Soon it became clear that even though they have a dog, they keep it outside and invest very little emotion toward their dog. Which really misses the point of having a dog in the first place. It's also why animal shelters are full of rejected dogs. But here's the thing...becoming a dog's "person" means you willingly commit to investing your heart (not just some food and a little of your time) into your dog. The payoff you'll receive back from your dog is priceless. Trust me, you will become a better human because of your commitment to your dog.

Breaking News! Dog Loves Hugs!

Some scientists believe that humans need 4 hugs a day to survive, and 12 a day to grow. Dogs like Watson love to receive hugs. As many a day as humanly possible. Another reason dogs are wonderful and we're so healthy. ;-)

Canine Plays Movie Villain!

It's funny how some people think that dogs don't have personalities. Not only do dogs have their own personality, the really smart ones can pretend to be someone else very convincingly. Even a movie villain.

A dog guy?

People who say they "don't like dogs" often had a bad experience with one when they were young. One day, when I came home from 1st grade, there was a basset hound in our front yard. I'd never seen it before. But since it was in our front yard, I reasoned, as any child would, that it was only polite to greet it. It growled when I reached down (slightly, since I wasn't a tall 1st grader) to pet it, the dog growled. I pulled back, and it stopped growling. Puzzled, I tried again. And again, the hound growled. Now I was annoyed. This trespassing dog SHOULD allow me to pet it! By golly, I was going to pet it. Despite the immediate growl, I pressed on for the prize of patting the hound on its head...and watched my right hand disappear into eternity. Half an hour later, I was getting a shot in my bum. I'm still a dog guy, even after my amazing power of ignoring.

The Wisdom of Sharing

When we're little the grownups around us teach the importance of sharing. As we get older, we remember the lesson and how important it is (even though we might choose to ignore it sometimes). But did you know that dogs can also have this wisdom?

Yeah, Like That

Are you lucky enough to have a socially awkward friend? Says the wrong things. Laughs too loud. Acts weird...a lot. No? Get a dog. They'll do all that, and more. And you'll love them for it. But it's the other side of this that really counts. You see, when you act weird (and you do, you know), your dog will love you all the same.

Tired of email? Try pee-mail!

In an age full of "smart phones" that seem to make us, well, not so smart, it's easy to get discouraged at how difficult it is to communicate well. Dogs don't have such troubles. Maybe that makes them smarter than us in some ways. There is something to be said for being direct.

Do you speak dog?

It is said that there are 89.7 million pet dogs in the United States. That means a lot of folks have a furry pal under their roof. Maybe more than one. Anything from a tiny lap dog to a massive Mastiff. But do they all speak dog? We learned how to speak dog from our dog, Watson. He can teach you, too.

The Ultimate Survival Guide for Youth Ministers

Christian Books & Bibles

A youth minister's career is typically less than 5 years. And that's not because they "graduate" to adult ministry. It's because they burn out. Going the distance requires setting specific and unique boundaries. This book gives them to you with humor, real stories, and loads of inspiration.

Book Bubbles from The Ultimate Survival Guide for Youth Ministers

Unfriendly Gatherings

Anyone in ministry will resonate with this bubble. Because, well, people being what they are, these things are inevitable. But that doesn't mean you're always prepared. That's why I wrote this book. As much as anything, it was cathartic for me. Not everyone you serve, Youth Minister, is rooting for you. It's what you do with that knowledge that matters the most to your impact of your ministry. #youthministry #reasonhecame #treadlightly #holdloosely #persist

What's Your Why?

When I was doing "full-time youth ministry" (I volunteer now), the average length of a youth minister's career was 4 years. Yes, you read that right. But it gets worse. That average 4 years of ministry was conducted in 4 different churches. Yikes! That was an appalling situation and provided the WHY for writing this book. Yet, there's more. Today, the lifespan of a "career youth minister" has actually shrunk to less than 4 years. Unexamined expectations continue to crush the life out this critical minister...and ministry. And the kids lose. But the stakes have never been higher.

Getting By...With Help

John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote an iconic song about the importance of supportive friends: "Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends." (*earworm*). It's weird how many youth ministers, working so hard to build community with the groups of kids they serve, don't pursue being in a community of their own. Or is it?

"What can you know about raising teens?"

Conventional wisdom isn't always all that wise. When it's wrong, though, it tends to be epically wrong. Especially when parents of teens believe that a 20-something youth minister can't know much about the challenges of parenting teens. But maybe that's also an unexamined bit of conventional wisdom.

Spill In Aisle Six!

Youth Ministers serve so many more than the kids. You've got parents, church staff, church leadership, peers, the community... it adds up! And early on, it freaked me out. All the spills! So when I wrote The Ultimate Survival Guide for Youth Ministers, I wanted to bring a life-long map to help navigate all the challenges of ministry. Beginning with accepting the truth that you'll never know everything...and that's OK. See if you relate to this excerpt and please consider reading The Ultimate Survival Guide for Youth Ministers. #youthmin

Programming Kids

Kids get programming every day. Too often, the programming is delivered through their smart phone. Other times it is pushed on them by their peers. Where does your youth ministry programming fit in? How do you fit in? The bad news is that you must decide. The good news is that you get to decide.

Beware the Worship Team

Since I first wrote this chapter, lots of choirs have been replaced with "worship teams." Which makes the perils of running across the grain of this group of people even more perilous to the youth minister. #worshipteam #outtamyway

No Lone Rangers Allowed

For some, youth ministry is a team experience. Maybe you inherited the team from your predecessor or maybe you've nurtured your team. But if you are in a small community or serve a small church, your risk for going solo is high. Unfortunately, engaging in youth ministry can be a very isolated--and isolating--endeavor. And that's not so good.

Your Evil Reeboks

Of all the "shareholders" a youth minister must keep in mind as they make decisions about, well, just about everything, it is the regular church member that may be the most important. Because there is a strong correlation between their involvement and their expectations. In other words, the less they're involved in the activities of the church's youth ministry, the more outrageous their expectations will be for it.

The Removal of Walls

Are boundaries needed in youth ministry? Yep. There are places where we absolutely need walls, or build them where there are none. Yet, it is also true that we maintain some walls at the expense of those around us, as well as ourselves.

The Perils of Family

Youth ministers too often treat everyone as if they're "family." In a way that makes sense, since your work is focused on deepening relationships with the kids you work with, their parents, and the community you all live in. But they're not your family. Nope. And it is a peril to not be clear about that.

Foreign wars...at church?

Youth ministry comes with a LOT of expectations. From the kids. From the parents. From the staff. From the clergy. From the community. But the most debilitating expectations don't come from outside the walls of the church, or even inside the church. They come from inside the head and heart of the youth minister.

Short Circuits

Edward de Bono was a wise man. Our expectations can easily become the tail that wags the dog...but without any of the cuteness. Especially when our expectations are unexamined and unchallenged.

The Point of Youth Ministry

Sometimes in the crazy schedule of a typical youth minister, we forget why we're doing what we're doing. And that's never good.

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